OTTAWA, June 27, 2017 /CNW/ - Veterans and their families have earned the respect and gratitude of all Canadians. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting our Veterans so that they have access to the critical services they need.
The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, today announced 13 appointments to the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, which hears appeals of Veterans' disability benefits decisions. The appointments include:
- Seven new appointments and six reappointments
- Four Veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)
- Three Veterans of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
- Seven women
These appointments were made under the Government of Canada's new approach to Governor in Council appointments. This approach supports open, transparent and merit-based selection processes that strive for gender parity and reflect Canada's diversity, to support Ministers in making appointment recommendations for positions within their portfolio.
"I am very pleased to announce the appointment of these exceptionally qualified Canadians—including seven Veterans—to the Board. They have accepted the important role of providing Veterans and their families with a fair and respectful appeal program for disability benefits."
The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
- With these appointments, almost two-thirds of the 17 member board have military or RCMP/policing experience.
- The Veterans Review and Appeal Board is the administrative tribunal that provides Veterans, CAF and RCMP members, and their families, with an independent appeal process for disability benefits decisions made by Veterans Affairs Canada.
- The Board provides Veterans with two levels of hearings: review and appeal. Both levels are de novo, which means each hearing is new and the case is looked at with fresh eyes.
- Board members conduct review hearings across the country where Veterans can give oral testimony, present new evidence and arguments, and bring witnesses in support of the case. This is their first and only opportunity to appear before decision makers and tell their story.
- Veterans who come to the Board have access to free legal representation from the Bureau of Pensions Advocates (an organization of lawyers provided by the government). Service organizations, like the Royal Canadian Legion, also represent Veterans at Board hearings.
- Qualified Canadians have until the end of July to apply to be members of the Veterans Review and Appeal Board.
Follow the Veterans Review and Appeal Board on Twitter: @VRAB_Canada
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information: Sarah McMaster, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs, 613-996-4649; Media Relations, Veterans Review and Appeal Board, 902-566-8284